In this digital world where personal information is constantly asked of us, we have become somewhat complacent and need to be more aware of our online privacy. Imagine you are out shopping and an employee from the store, a complete stranger, asked you to share your personal information with them—you would be hesitant to do so. We need to translate this way of thinking to protect our online privacy when using the internet for work or play.
A recent Statistica study in 2017 listed some examples of types of information and images shared digitally by internet users. This includes financial information, personal photos, personal contacts, email address and sometimes even work-related documents. Statistica studies show 50% of the global population has internet access. The abundance of information sprawled over the internet demands we all work harder to protect our privacy while online. Oildex is committed to protecting our customer information using best practices and latest industry standards. With the holiday season in full swing, we wanted to share nine general tips to protect your online privacy:
- Avoid open or public Wi-Fi. These Wi-Fi hotspots can be used as bait by cybercriminals. If you use an open or public Wi-Fi connection, it’s easy for them to eavesdrop on internet traffic.
- Browse privately. Many modern internet browsers offer the option for you to browse in “private” mode. This can help limit the amount of private information captured about you and your online browsing.
- Create a special email account. Create and use a separate/free disposable email address to use for offers and sharing of very general information. This helps limit the amount of spam to your main account.
- Check privacy settings. Frequently review privacy settings when using your browser, websites, and apps (especially social media). The settings sometimes revert or can change without a notification.
- Connect securely. Avoid typing any passwords or share any information unless the website you are accessing uses a secure connection. You can determine whether a website is secure by looking in your browser address bar. If the page’s website is a secure connection if the address begins with “https” instead of “http”. This applies whether you are accessing a web address through a mobile device or on a computer.
- Keep your credentials as private as possible. Avoid using the same credentials for multiple online accounts. Cybercriminals have a field day when they have credentials that get them into several areas. Their ability to harm a victim goes up exponentially if we make it easy for them.
- Report. If you are a victim of cybercrime, report it to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center(for U.S residents) and the Public Safety Canada(for Canadian residents)
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right when visiting a webpage, you are usually correct.
- Verify. Ensure you only share information online with credible websites, merchants and companies that you can verify are legitimate and truly trust with your information.
Stay safe this holiday season!